Observations from the 45, Ole Miss edition

On a perfect Saturday afternoon, weatherwise, I watched a game in search of a motto:

“Out of chaos, order.”

“You thought Florida was ugly?  We’ll show you ugly.”

“Take a couple of Xanax, offense, and call us before the end of the first half.”

That second quarter was one of the most bizarre displays of football I’ve ever seen – a literal flurry of turnovers, the worst personal foul call I may have ever seen and the worst field goal attempt I have ever seen, just for starters – capped by an inept effort at clock management in the last minute that had the crowd turning ugly.  Yet Murray bailed his team out to give his team its first lead of the game, the Dawgs went into the locker room and made a series of halftime adjustments and came out in the second half to dominate Ole Miss on both sides of the ball.

On to the bullet points:

  • Suddenly, there seems to be secondary depth.  Damian Swann looks more self-assured every week and Branden Smith played the game of his career as the nickel back.
  • If Rambo got his mojo back against Florida, I think the same can be said for Alec Ogletree yesterday.  Aside from a couple of whiffs on the first Ole Miss drive, he was all over the place bringing the wood.  His interception was way downfield and as athletic a play as you could expect a linebacker to make.
  • Another quietly excellent game from Garrison Smith.
  • Speaking of quiet, maybe Jarvis Jones’ stats didn’t speak loudly, but he had the complete attention of Hugh Freeze’s offense.   He dominated the two plays that led to the safety and had an incredible tackle for loss when he engaged the blocker and took out the ball carrier with his legs.
  • It took the defense a little time to adjust to Ole Miss’ pace, but you could see the comfort level rising by the end of the second quarter.  Once they figured out how to defend that pesky outlet pass, there weren’t any more bullets in the RBBs’ gun.  And the Dawgs continue to do a terrific job defending the read option.  Grantham has really stepped up the preparation level.
  • My favorite Rambo moment came when Jeff Scott faced him in the open field… and flinched.
  • The officiating?  The call on Williams was ridiculous – the ball carrier clearly ran into the defender – but I think yesterday was a new low in not calling holding.  It wasn’t just what Ole Miss did to Jarvis; Georgia’s o-line got away with quite a bit as well, especially in the first half when the linemen struggled with Mississippi’s blitz packages.
  • Speaking of struggling, that’s a kind way of describing John Theus’ day.  He was nice enough to offer a helping hand to Murray after his guy sacked his quarterback, though.  The worst thing I saw was a play when he had a tight end lined up next to him, Ole Miss overloaded that side with a blitz and Theus missed his assignment and let both guys by.  After it looked like he was making progress against Florida, yesterday was definitely a set back.
  • Marlon Brown was so much bigger than the guys defending him.  I hope the knee won’t turn out to be a big problem.
  • Good game from Collin Barber.
  • Once again, Todd Gurley shows he can grind with the best of ‘em.
  • The rooskie throw is going to get all the glory, but Murray’s three other touchdown throws were impressive.  Murray also made an effort to get his checkdown receivers the ball.
  • It took Bobo a while to get there, but he obviously came out of halftime thinking, “screw it – if they’re gonna blitz and leave my guys in single coverage, I’m gonna throw it”.
  • That doesn’t make up for the inexcusable waste of time in the last minute of the first half.  Although I have to say when they came back after the last time out, I had no idea what they were going to do.
  • Loved the Zander Ogletree call for the touchdown.

The first quarter Georgia team looked much like what we saw against Buffalo and other teams when the Dawgs seemed to lack interest.  The team that played in the third quarter looked like a bunch that could play with any program in the country.  Maybe my 2007 vision won’t turn out to be completely far-fetched.

On to the Plains…

45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

45 responses to “Observations from the 45, Ole Miss edition

  1. heyberto

    How beautifully executed was that play action fake, walk off and throw by Murray? I thought I was watching David Greene again.

  2. We have nine future NFL players on our roster. We have competitive, ballsy playmakers like Malcom Mitchell and Jarvis Jones and Todd Gurley. We have an experienced future pro QB who has just learned he has big-game mettle. We have two of the best coordinators in the game, and a head coach who is as cool as they come and for whom his players would run through fire. This team is special; everything is on the table. Don’t wait until after we beat Bama to act like you knew all along. Believe now. 

    • Victory tastes like Bloody Marys. Oh wait, that’s Bloody Marys that taste like Bloody Marys.

      And Senator I concur: we are about to get an answer to the question that has bedeviled us since 2007 – what if we hadn’t lost to Tennessee?

      • Dboy

        Rabe,

        Bloody Mary’s or kool aid? Pretty optimistic post or a troll. I haven’t decided.

        • I think we’ll beat Bama. We have the best QB and the best player on either side of the ball. But the coaches can still play the Rodney Dangerfield card, about which I usually am pretty cynical, but it really seems to work with this team.

          My comments about 2007 should’ve persuaded you that my credentials are decidedly unroll-like. But I appreciate your vigilance. You can never be too careful about the potential for anonymous shit-storm-stirring that resides in your average Techie, what with the limitless free time and considerable broad-band capabilities existing in their mothers’ basements.

    • gastr1

      I agree with everything you said except about the QB. If Murray gets more than a cup of coffee in the NFL I’ll eat my hat.

  3. timphd

    Agree that was the ugliest field goal attempt of all time. No problem with snap or hold, just an awful pull to the left. I hope they are scouting kickers again this year. Alec O was truly all over the field. He even ran down the receiver from behind on the first Ole Miss series to save a touchdown. That is serious speed for a linebacker. Good for Zander getting the td. Murray played as well as he ever has IMO. That throw with 3 seconds left after jumping from the pocket was a thing of true beauty. I wish people would get off his back a bit. Lots of QB’s struggle when facing Florida, USCe etc. Where would the team be without him in the Kentucky game or yesterday? Of course Gurley was quietly awesome yesterday too. Another 100 yard game!

    • That field goal was hilarious. And he did that thing afterwards like pro-golfers do after a putt they JUST miss. The motion where they move their arm to show how they read the putt, as if to demonstrate they had it right, the ball just screwed up. Dude, that wouldn’t have been good from the 1.

      • gastr1

        I think he kicked with his heel, he missed it so badly. Almost surprised they didn’t award 3 to Ole Miss just for the sheer ineptitude of it all.

    • Dawgfan Will

      We have completely spoiled by previous kickers here.

  4. X-Dawg

    I was at the game, and I haven’t seen a replay, but on Mitchell’s TD (I think), it looked like Marshall had a great block to protect Murray just before the pass. Considering the problems with the frosh RBs blosking, I just wnated to give him some props.

  5. Bubs

    “Murray also made an effort to get his checkdown receivers the ball.”
    -These check downs have been open all season. I’m glad he finally threw them with success. Gurley and Zander out in the flat are tough to bring down one-on-one.

    I was also happy to see Murray run a few times instead of taking a sack or throwing it away. He has some speed and it can be a weapon when he uses it correctly.

    • Dboy

      Bubs,

      In theory I agree with Murray running in the proper situation, but given his propensity to fumble, his relatively small stature and the complete lack of a game proven back up QB, I say take the sack and move on.

      • Cojones

        How short and skewed our memory sometimes gets. Perhaps you didn’t see his heroics in his first season. He ran with abandon and stuck his nose in on every stop he got. Murray hasn’t neared the run production of that year and I think it goes to his instructions from Bobo.

        My pet peeve is that Murray doesn’t step well into the pocket when a D player gets around end and sticks out an arm to snag him. If he stepped a little deeper at least 4 times , he wouldn’t have had the sacks. I’m not faulting him as a player, just hope he reviews the film and determines for himself that he can help his line in ways not yet accomplished.

  6. HahiraDawg

    Zander has shown some excellent hands the past two weeks. Those balls have been thrown quite hot and he’s caught’em with no problem.

  7. Macallanlover

    Our DBs have gotten more consistent in pass coverage and are reacting well to the ball in the air, but our LBs are just awful on pass coverage. It is the most vulnerable area we have and a meticulaous, little game planner will run short dink and dunk passes all night on usif we don’t find an answer. We have four weeks to work on it, the next 3 teams cannot exploit it.

  8. The Lone Stranger

    I am starting to mucho-dig Garrison Smith. With him turning in such steady play down-after-down this DLine has shaped into a beautiful thing to behold. None of which could be remotely said after that USCe fiasco. Ain’t college ball outstanding?!

  9. HVL Dawg

    Damian Swan has quietly put together a solid season.

  10. MBrooks

    If this team plays the 2007 team, who wins? I’m inclined to say the 2007 team due to the strong o-line and pass rush we had. Plus Knowshon and Thomas Brown. I say 20-17.

  11. MBrooks

    Marlon’s out for the year….

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Well damn!

    • Hackerdog

      It looks like we’ll need that depth we started the year with. Hopefully Mitchell can continue to produce. I think Conley and Wooten can both do more with more opportunities. And, McGowan is really showing some nice hands when he gets the chance.

    • bulldawgy

      I am sad for him and for Dawgnation. Prayers for healing for you, Marlon. DGD!

    • TiftonDawg

      If you watch the video, you can see the defender number 7 (Trae Elston), grab Brown’s foot and twist it as he fell on the leg with the full force of his weight. It sure looked intentional when I saw it on the replay, and I watched it again after I heard about the ACL.

  12. Chopdawg

    We got the ball with about a minute left in the first half, scored a touchdown with :03 left. Pretty good clock management, IMHO.

    • Macallanlover

      Actually, just a great result. We are usually much better at clock management but that was pretty bad, took a big mistake by Ole MIss to keep major booing as the Dawgs were leaving the field. I am thankful for that but surprised that we looked like a rookie group in that situation.

    • HobnailedBoots

      That’s just blatantly dishonest. It was atrocious clock management, the worst I’ve seen. It shouldn’t be that 92,000 people in the stands know that a timeout should be called but the man on the sideline can’t seem to figure it out. They didn’t know what play there were trying to run, it took WAY too much time and the end result was a poorly executed play that resulted in a BIG loss that could have killed the drive. Truthfully we should have gone into halftime tied at best and possibly still down. It was a great individual effort by Murray that saved it. There was no reason to mismanage the clock in that situation, period.

      • Even Bobo acknowledged they screwed up the clock management there.

        • Cojones

          Too bad. I was going to defend part of it even though I agreed with the criticism. While the clock rundown was going on, I wondered if it wasn’t deliberate to at least deprive Ole Miss of the ball even if we didn’t score. Still not sure whether Richt wasn’t thinking the same way. What changed things were the two dumps for loss. Richt lost the chance for tying field goal distance and also made up his mind to spend the last 12 secs throwing two for a TD. Murray had King open on the first try that used up 9 secs. Great play, the most timely of the season.

          The largest fan-psyche reversal play of the year. If it hadn’t clicked then, we would throw for it using our last 3 secs, there would be some angry fans if the last pass didn’t score. Funny how all illogical football thinking by the coach can be reversed in a fan’s mind on a simple toss of the ball. Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously.

          • If that was deliberate, it was a better sales job than Murray’s play fake on the rooskie pass. ;)

            • Cojones

              Yeah, but at least he tried several fakes this game. I thought the little fake set up his ability to go right and throw long. He seemed to have plenty of room and time after freezing them with the overhead pass that, if thrown, would have gone up 30 yds in the air and downfield 10 yds. Rooskie, indeed!

              • Cojones

                I’m using your “rooskie” description for another pass, but in the sense that describes what Murray was trying to do with his fakes.